Bethpage Inducts New Group Into Athletic Wall of Fame

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A new cohort of distinguished individuals was inducted into the Bethpage School District Athletic Wall of Fame during a July 22 ceremony on the high school’s football field. This year’s group of honorees, who were the fifth to be inducted, included Anne DiPrima; “The Three Amigos” Thomas Cilmi, Frank DeCicco and Vincent Valenti; and the 1971 men’s high school track team.

DiPrima earned her place on the honorary wall as a pioneer for interscholastic sports at the middle school and high school levels since joining the district in 1970 as a teacher and coach. As the high school softball coach, she won 406 games in 34 seasons before retiring from the helm in 2014. As the current high school volleyball coach, she has accumulated 594 victories, the most in Nassau County history. 

Dubbed “The Three Amigos,” Cilmi, DeCicco and Valenti exemplify the meaning of a Golden Eagle as strong supporters of the high school football team. The trio received their nickname during the 1970s by the high school football coaching staff for their dedication to the program and their attendance at every game, home and away. The three supporters have 22 children and grandchildren altogether who have attended district schools.

The men’s high school track team of 1971 was named the top team in the state by the New York State Scholastic Track Association after going undefeated and winning the North Shore Championship. The group edged out Mount Vernon, Boys and Archbishop Molloy high schools in the closest decision in the history of state track selections. The Fred Meder-coached team also won the Mid Island Meet and the prestigious Eddy Meet during the 1971 season. 

Among the speakers at the event were current Superintendent of Schools David Schneider and recently retired Superintendent Terrence Clark, who served as master of ceremonies. Schneider concluded the ceremony with a presentation of a plaque to Clark from the athletic department for his support and dedication as superintendent.